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Over 5 million Australians are on facebook. With 175 million active participants globally, it’s easy to see why it is the 5th most trafficked website in the world and the 3rd highest trafficked website in Australia.

facebook: Marketer’s friend or foe? Obviously facebook is currently very successful, but what is it, why are people using it, and how can you add facebook activity to your branding toolkit? What is it? facebook is a social utility website that connects people. It allows you to keep up with your friends, share links, photos, and videos, and provides an array of applications that you can interact with in both mindless and meaningful ways Why are people using it? facebook allows people to connect on two levels: interestdriven and friend-driven. Interest-driven people are looking to make connections with others based on their passions, regardless of location, though these people are in the minority when compared to the majority, who are friend-driven. Friend-driven people have ‘interests’ that are derived from their friends. They use facebook to connect with people they

already know, or have known in the past, and they use the platform to reinforce and grow these relationships. How can marketers use it? facebook can be used in a variety of ways by marketers, ranging from carrying out insight research to see if commentary exists on the topic of your brand, to attempting to persuade people to engage with facebook ads or applications that promote your brand. Between these two extremes, there are a myriad of innovative strategies that can be pursued. facebook can be used to create alumni networks for existing and past employees, or to alert people to events relevant to your brand. facebook has an ad placement engine that provides granular targeting and placement of ads based on a raft of demographic and location-specific settings. We conducted a few trial ad campaign using this

functionality, and have found that trying to track conversion goals is pretty immature compared to the bar set by Google analytics. There are further possibilities to combine the two tools; however, this process is not as elegant yet as it could be. Fusion’s view on using social media for marketing purposes is that it is better to focus your efforts on providing something worth talking about rather than trying to coerce a conversation by pushing messages down peoples’ throats. Brands should avoid trying to be everyone’s friend or butting into conversations with irrelevant views at all costs. Social platforms such as facebook provide a fantastic opportunity to really listen to what people are saying and use these insights to improve your brand offering. If you get that right, people will start spreading the love for you all on their own!

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